19 September 2011

"Code Orange" Speaker Christine Caine

As was mentioned in the article Steven Furtick's 12 Days of Revival, our favorite young, celebrity pastor is planning a big event for next January. He intends to gather a group of speakers together in order to cause an "eruption" of God's power and movement. Uh huh, okay, sure. Why twelve days though?
First, and most obvious, it's 2012, and it just seems fitting to do it for 12 days to open up the year. Second, 12 is a significant number in the Bible. There are 12 tribes of Israel. 12 apostles of Jesus. Basically, it's a number that points to the idea of completion or wholeness, especially in relation to the people of God. And since part of our vision is that believers and churches across the whole world will join us online for the event, making it last for 12 days made the most sense. (Online Source)
Ah, yes, nothing like a little numerology to start off the new year right! It fits right in with Furtick's "vision" for this Code Orange Revival, which includes:
[F]or 12 days we're going to have a heightened time of focus and expectancy for how God is going to move. We're praying for fresh momentum, seeking God and asking what He wants to do in and through us all in this new year. And we're thanking Him in advance for all that He is going to do. (Online Source)
It's always interesting to me how the seeker-driven and Word Faith types especially are always seeking for more. As if God hasn't already given us every possible blessing beyond what we could ever anticipate! Read Ephesians 1 and see if you ever again pray for more of God's power or love, because you'll realize that all of His blessings are already available to the Christian. Yet, in a time and day that is defined by the constant quest for "more," we ought not be surprised that the so-called church has spiritualized this unnecessary expedition.


While it's true that January is quite some time away, it's never too early to become aware of some of the dangerous leaders infiltrating the church visible. The speaker lineup for Furtick's Code Orange Revival is comprised of some of these leaders and is quite extensive, so I've decided to examine them in small doses.


We last examined Jentezen Franklin of Free Chapel Church in Gainesville, GA and Irvine, CA. It was demonstrated that Franklin is a typical Word Faith preacher and TBN personality who has claimed special revelation from God. His previous alignments with men like Craig Groeschel and Perry Noble leave little reason to doubt that he is one of whom to be wary. In this post, let's jump to the only female participant Furtick has invited (thus far), Christine Caine.


Christine Caine directs Equip & Empower Ministries and is the founder of the A21 Campaign. A21 seeks to educate people about the human trafficking industry, which in itself is indeed a noble cause. The apparent reliance on superstition and numerology, then, is quite unfortunate:
On the importance and impact of prayer: “It’s not surprising to me that A21’s first conviction of a sex trafficker was June 21, 2010. We designate the 21st of every month to fast and pray. It says to people, ‘Prayer works!’ We put out a global request asking for people to pray for the 'stan' nations, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, etc., because we weren’t seeing much breakthrough in their big Muslim countries. Two days later, we got a young girl from Uzbekistan into the shelter. The church has a weapon the world just doesn’t have, so all of us can pray. The A21 website has a prayer you can download and pray every day.” (From a July 2010 interview, Online Source)
Caine is also on the leadership team at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia. Hillsong Church, led by Pastor Brian and Pastrix Bobbie Houston, is, as Apprising Ministries reports:
[P]erhaps best known for its popular worship music, [and] regularly features the major prosperity preachers of the Word Faith movement at their annual heresy-fests such as Joyce Meyer, Joel and Victoria Osteen, along with Jentezen Franklin numerous times, and Oneness Pentecostal Word Faith mogul T.D. Jakes again this year. (Online source).
With headlining names like that, it's certainly safe to say that Hillsong Church is a far cry from being a bastion of Gospel truth! In fact, a quick look at the "What We Believe" page of Hillsong offers some insight into their view of Scripture:
We believe that the Bible is God's Word. It is accurate, authoritative and applicable to our everyday lives.
"Accurate?" Is that the best you can do? Whatever happened to words like "infallible" and "inerrant?" Most importantly, what about the fact that the Scriptures in their original writings are the inspired Word of God?

But, let's turn our focus again to Christine Caine. Also an ordained minister (as documented here), she is the author of such works as A Life Unleashed: Giving Birth to Your Dreams. The product description reads as follows:
Gifted communicator and Bible teacher Christine Caine reveals the steps to unleashing the potential in each of us. God has divinely created each of us with incredible potential--seeds that can grow into something significant. However, the past, current circumstances, or social conditions can cause us to forsake these seeds or allow them to lay dormant. During her 40-week pregnancy, Christine Caine discovered that conceiving, carrying, and giving birth to her daughter has much in common with actualizing our potential and realizing our dreams. In A LIFE UNLEASHED, she uses this metaphor of pregnancy to walk readers through the journey that will ultimately result in experiencing the fulfillment of our own God-given dreams. It*s a journey of both excitement and pain. In the same way women encounter nausea, restrictive dietary habits, and contractions during pregnancy, there will be challenges to overcome while giving birth to our dreams. But in due time we will see the fruit of that original seed of potential. Christine encourages readers that with continued trust in God--regardless of the obstacles--His plans and purposes will come to pass. (Online Source)
Ouch, sounds painful! This is typical Word Faith sentiment, "giving birth" to our dreams and "unleashing the potential" inside of us. Apart from Christ, the only potential I have is the potential to sin. And any "dreams" that I may have apart from Christ are also rooted in sin. Of course, this type of "literature" is always a big hit with the Joyce Meyer crowd, so it's appropriate that she has endorsed this book by writing the foreword. The relationship between Caine and Meyer must be deeper still, because Caine was present this past weekend at the Joyce Meyer Love Life Conference, and seemed to be greatly enjoying herself as she eagerly tweeted out quotes and affirmations:



Okay, so she's friends with Joyce Meyer, thinks that Meyer is "anointed" and attends and leads at a prosperity church. Big deal. It could be worse, right? It is. Caine was also a featured speaker last year at Bill Hybels' Global Leadership Summit. When Bill Hybels invites you to speak to and teach thousands of current and future "church" leaders, you know you've hit the big time.

A visit to Caine's blog reveals a rather extensive list of books that she is currently reading. At the top of the list is Life of the Beloved by mystic Henri Nouwen. Other questionable authors include Craig Groeschel, Tim Keller, Andy Stanley, Brennan Manning, Frank Viola, Stovall Weems, and Bill Hybels. Quite honestly, nearly all of the titles on Caine's "currently reading" list give cause for concern:


There's certainly more that could be said, more questions that could be raised, but it seems that the above should be more than enough reason for us to raise our eyebrows at the prospect that Christine Caine is a legitimate Bible teacher to be brought before the crowds at Steven Furtick's Code Orange event. But then, who is to say that legitimate Bible teaching is what Furtick is going for? 

In closing, let me share with you the "sinner's prayer" that can be found on Caine's own website. You'll notice that, while it includes asking for forgiveness of sins, there is no actual confession of sin or acknowledgement of being a sinner! Without an explanation of what it means to sin against the God of the universe, there can be no genuine, godly repentance. The introduction on the website leading up to this prayer also offers no real explanation of sin, nor is there mention of the wrath of God for those who do not repent and put their trust in Jesus Christ. It is all about "God loves you," which is only half of a watered-down Gospel, at best. Caine defines "knowing God" as:
[H]aving your own personal relationship with the Creator of the universe, discovering just how much He truly loves you, and embarking on the journey of loving Him back. (Online Source)
You'll notice that the "sinner's prayer" below is followed by Caine's admonition to those who have just completed saying the prayer to "go hang out with Jesus" because "He's been waiting for this moment all day." Uh-huh. Something tells me Jesus hasn't been wringing His hands in Heaven waiting for someone to "make a decision" to "accept" Him and "ask Him into their heart."
Dear Jesus, 
Right now, I want to make the decision to stop living my life my own way, and begin living it Your way. I ask that You would forgive me for all my sins, give me a brand-new start today and a hope for the future. I want to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, for the rest of my life. Amen. 
Now, why not switch off your computer for a bit and go hang out with Jesus. He’s been waiting for this moment all day! (Online Source)
The reader would do well to remember that also among Furtick's list of scheduled speakers are the "young, restless and reformed" Matt Chandler, as well as James MacDonald of Walk in the Word and Harvest Bible Chapel fame. It seems fair to ask of these two men especially: Why? Why would you agree to share a stage with such weak (at best) and dangerous (at worst) teachers?

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8 comments:

  1. I've been reading your posts for a few weeks (I found you cross posted in another blog) and largely agree with your perspective. You raise valid points about questionable teaching.

    Since we don't know each other, this may come across harsh which is not my tone/intention. When I read many of your posts, I’m frequently left with the feeling, “Okay, what’s the point?” You love Christ, so why devote so many words talking about every charlatan instead of Him? In other words, unless your expected audience is immature believers unable to rightly divine the Word of God, it’s all preaching to the choir.

    You might say (just guessing of course) – “surprisingly people don’t see it”. But is their problem they don’t see it or they’re not comparing these errant teachings to Scripture? Perhaps you can inspire us more by declaring the gloriousness of the Savior than enumerating the sins of the wolves.

    Dan

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  2. Hi Dan,

    I appreciate your comment and did not read it as "harsh" at all. I understand what you are saying, and it's unfortunate that most weeks it seems that these types of posts dominate this blog and others. To be sure, I attempt to balance this with weekly hymns and devotions and the occasional sermon or personal reflection upon God's creation, Word and grace. However, there are those whose work it is to expose the false teaching that is infiltrating the church, and that is largely what this blog seeks to do.

    Unfortunately, though my reading audience may be largely "Christian," I actually am not preaching to the choir. You guessed correctly - people do not see the dangers with many of these leaders. Sure, Benny Hinn is easy to avoid, but most of the other leaders discussed here are widely accepted by those who consider themselves to be "evangelical Christians." As such, when one of these mainstream leaders endorses a false or dangerous teacher, his followers blindly begin to trust that person as well, and the multitude of those who are being deceived begins to grow. It is my prayer that by bringing to light some of these concerning issues, people will begin to see the importance and the necessity of testing everything in light of Scripture for themselves, rather than always following their favorite leader.

    So "what's the point?" "I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" (Jude 3, 4).

    When God's truth is being compromised, we are commanded to speak out against it. I just happen to do so on a blog.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  3. I ran across this blog as I was seeking information about Steven Furtick. I had never heard of him and was puzzled by his "sermon" at my church, Harvest Bible Chapel. I have long been concerned about the direction my church is taking. I am no Bible scholar and so have been thinking there is something wrong with me because no one else in my circles saw problems. This blog has been validating to me and I am grateful for the thoughts that the blog owner and respondants share. It seems to me that Christ is getting lost in all the hoopla, showmanship, and talks about how to "do church". But maybe I am not so crazy after all. It seems that those much smarter than me are also seeing problems. I am very close to leaving my church. But I don't want to be premature or divisive. So I find this blog and others like it to be helpful toward sorting out the issues and ultimately sending me back to the authority of Scripture.

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  4. Anonymous,
    Praise God that He is showing you His truth and the error and deception of men like Steven Furtick. Rest assured, you are not the only one who has concerns over Harvest Bible Chapel. As I'm sure you've noticed from the many comments that have been left on various posts, there are quite a number of people who have been disturbed by the direction HBC is taking.

    Let me just offer a word to you and to others who are afraid that raising their concerns may be viewed as "being divisive." Those who are standing for Truth, those who are speaking out against the compromise of God's Word, are NOT the ones who are being divisive. It is those who are propagating error and false teaching, those who are deceiving the sheep. These are the ones who are causing division with their lies. Continue to seek God's counsel through Scripture - there's no better place to turn!

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  5. Surely we are close to the second comming- the false teachings, anything but the truth goes- so much positive and motivation talk in Gods' house. It is all about pleasing the world appealing to the world, playing the wordly tunes and preaching the sweet pleasing messages.

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  6. I have been reading your blog for sometime now and want to say I am thankful for the false teaching/teachers that you expose. I am one of those who just didn't see it until I started studying and reading about these teachers/teachings in your blog and others. The falseness can be so subtle for those of us who are not so learned as others. So, please keep fighting for the truth and speaking out even when it is unpopular or "unloving" as so many accuse you of. Lord bless you!

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  7. tmshafer,

    Praise God that He chose to open your eyes! I am so grateful for your comment and your kind words. It is testimonies like yours that offer great encouragement.

    Yes, the false is very subtle. After all, the enemy knows better than to show up in a red suit with a pitchfork! Truly he does pose as an angel of light, cleverly mixing truth with error, creating a dangerous, poisonous concoction.

    Thank you and God bless!

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  8. I realize I'm catching this posting rather late, but let me add my thanks to you. The post by tmshafer above is about what I'd say, adding this: we all come to Christ at different times and in different ways. Some come through the door of true churches, but I like perhaps many, have stumbled through a side door. By that I mean, first some church that seems appealing, but then it is revealed to us that it isn't preaching the gospel. That conviction leads us to dig deeper, and by indirect means we end up where we should be.

    But oh, my, the dangers along the way! I'm not ashamed to admit I attended a Joyce Meyer event some years back, and thought I was hearing the Word preached. I look back now and say, "What was I thinking??!!"

    So you are absolutely right that we need some guidance along the way. It's not easy for those of us just getting to the Truth to have a full complement of discernment tools. Such sites as this provide a valuable service, by pointing out weaknesses and heresies that might not be evident at first glance.

    We do appreciate this, more than you can realize. Keep up the good work, fighting the good fight. As noted, we are called to point out false teachings. Giving us an alert on what to look for, this can help us sharpen our discernment skills, and learn to compare what we hear to the scriptures, Berean-like.

    God bless you for what you do. I'll be following your posts more closely.

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